SEP/ISSE meetings in Australia and New Zealand

Oppose the US-Australia war preparations against China

26 April 2012

Six months after the Gillard Labor government announced with US President Barack Obama that the north and west of the country would become a base for major US military operations, the majority of ordinary people remain unaware of the significance of the agreements made behind their backs and with no public debate. The line of the Australian media and political establishment, including the Greens and their political apologists in the middle class pseudo-left, is that the military deal has no implications, and has nothing to do with the growing economic and geo-strategic conflicts between the United States and China.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Through the military agreements, the Labor government has unconditionally aligned itself with US war preparations against China—a fact openly acknowledged by foreign policy analysts around the world. Joint US and Australian operations in the Indian and Pacific Oceans are being expanded to threaten China with a blockade of its vital sea passages through Indonesia, which would cut off its access to oil and other natural resources and strangle its economy.

As well as marine deployments in Darwin, Australian ports and airbases will be upgraded for increased use by US nuclear-armed warships and aircraft; there are plans for surveillance drone aircraft to operate from the Australian-held Cocos Islands and to spy on Chinese shipping in the Indian Ocean. Moreover, Washington has prompted a debate over the merits of Canberra purchasing a fleet of nuclear-powered submarines from the US to dramatically enhance its naval war capabilities.

These developments are part of a broader US strategy of forging alliances and bases throughout Asia aimed at encircling China. They stem from the historic decline of US imperialism, which has only deepened since the 2007-2008 financial crisis and the onset of the worst recession since the 1930s. From the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, the bombing and regime-change in Libya, to the threats against Syria and Iran and the build-up of armed forces in Asia, the American ruling elite is stepping up its use of military power to maintain its dominance of global resources and sources of profit against its rivals. In Asia, Washington is demanding that the Beijing regime bow before its military might and grant greater US access to markets within China and across the region.

The provocative actions of the US and its allies are heightening tensions with China on the Korean peninsula, on the Indian subcontinent and in the South China Sea. In any one of these locations, a conflict could rapidly escalate into a confrontation between nuclear-armed powers, drawing Australia and other Asia-Pacific countries into a conflict with catastrophic consequences, not only for the region but for all humanity. For the third time in a century, the international working class faces the threat of world war.

The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) and International Students for Social Equality (ISSE) are holding meetings in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Wellington to oppose the US-Australia war preparations against China and to advance the urgent need for the development of a genuine anti-war movement, based on a revolutionary socialist program. This involves, above all, the fight for the unity of the international working class in the struggle to overthrow the capitalist profit system, which is the cause of war.

We urge WSWS and SEP supporters and readers, workers, students and young people to attend the meetings and participate in discussing one of the most urgent issues of our times.

ISSE Meeting at University of New South Wales

Tuesday, May 8, 1 p.m.
CLB 5
(near the main library) 

ISSE Meeting at Victoria University—Footscray Campus

Thursday, May 10, 1 p.m.
Room D204

ISSE Meeting at Newcastle University

Thursday, May 10, 1 p.m.
Clubs and Society Room
Under the Bar on the Hill
(Look for ISSE directional signs near Commonwealth Bank and at entrance of Bar)

ISSE Meeting at Macquarie University

Thursday, May 10, 1 p.m.
Campus Hub Building, Level 3
Boyd Room

ISSE Meeting at University of Sydney

Wednesday, May 16, 1 p.m.
Quadrangle Building, McRae Room S418

ISSE Meeting at University of Western Sydney—Milperra Campus

Thursday, May 17, 1 p.m.
Building 1, Level 1, Room 106 (Lecture Theatre 1)

ISSE Meeting at RMIT

Thursday, May 17, 1 p.m.
University Function Room
08.02.8, Building 8
(Downstairs past the ATMs, next to the Kaleide Theatre) 

SEP Public Meeting in Sydney

Sunday, May 20, 2.30 p.m.
Redfern Town Hall
73 Pitt St, Redfern
(Short walk from Redfern Station)
Tickets: $3/$2 concession

SEP Public Meeting in Melbourne

Wednesday, May 23, 7.00 p.m.
Meat Market Conference Centre
5 Blackwood St, North Melbourne
(Melway Reference: 2B A9)
Tickets: $3/$2 concession

SEP Public Meeting in Perth

Sunday, May 27, 5.00 p.m.
Victoria Park Centre for the Arts Gallery Room
12 Kent St, East Victoria Park
(Short walk from Victoria Park and Carlisle Stations. Transperth Bus numbers 213 and 220, along Albany Highway to East Victoria Park.)
Tickets: $3/$2 concession

SEP Public Meeting in Wellington, New Zealand

Sunday, May 27, 1.30 p.m.
Victoria University of Wellington,
Law School, Old Government Buildings,
Campbell Lecture Theatre, GBLT3, Ground floor
(Opposite Wellington Railway Station)
Tickets: $3/$2 concession